I've been listening to a lot of Lou Harrision this past week in preparation for the all-Harrision show in Berkeley tomorrow night at BAM/PFA, and have really enjoyed exploring La Koro Sutro and Varied Trio. (Bonus: I also discovered John Luther Adams' For Lou Harrison, which is fantastically beautiful - I call Bay Area dibs in 2017!)
I've also been reading transcripts of interviews that Harrison gave and wanted to share a few choice quotes. The first comes from this 2002 inverview.
AB: I think I've seen it somewhere written that you mentioned that you were concerned within that piece about the balance; that the piece is a world contained unto itself.
Harrison: Yes, well, all of my symphonies are like that. You are making a world. The world contains interesting humorous small objects, and it contains the heart and expression from the inside, and then it contains action, movements, and sometimes the monumental. Yes. You're building a world of that sort. It represents your civilization in a sense. That sounds high-faluting, but the expression of your culture is there. You're a part of it.
These two quotes come from this inverview conducted in 1987.
BD: Well, should we continue the division of the nation or should we try to make sure that everything is integrated East and West?
LH: I don't see why integration need be. It will happen anyway to a degree. For example, I'm assimilating from Asia all the time, as are others in the United States, and also disseminating from the West. So it's a combination. I don't see that there's any need to trim everybody up and get him in uniform. I think that a richness of culture is desirable, and since we're a nation founded on both secular and commercial foundations, and philosophically as well, I think that that variety is a good thing and an enriching thing.
I just thought this was hilarious.
BD: Are you at all optimistic about the future of humanity?
LH: Not the slightest bit.